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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Hematology - Immunology - Molecular Biology - Oncology

Nras Overexpression Results in Granulocytosis, T-Cell Expansion and Early Lethality in Mice
Published: Thursday, August 02, 2012
Author: Louise Berkhoudt Lassen et al.

by Louise Berkhoudt Lassen, Borja Ballarín-González, Alexander Schmitz, Annette Füchtbauer, Finn Skou Pedersen, Ernst-Martin Füchtbauer

NRAS is a proto-oncogene involved in numerous myeloid malignancies. Here, we report on a mouse line bearing a single retroviral long terminal repeat inserted into Nras. This genetic modification resulted in an increased level of wild type Nras mRNA giving the possibility of studying the function and activation of wild type NRAS. Flow cytometry was used to show a variable but significant increase of immature myeloid cells in spleen and thymus, and of T-cells in the spleen. At an age of one week, homozygous mice began to retard compared to their wild type and heterozygous littermates. Two weeks after birth, animals started to progressively lose weight and die before weaning. Heterozygous mice showed a moderate increase of T-cells and granulocytes but survived to adulthood and were fertile. In homozygous and heterozygous mice Gfi1 and Gcsf mRNA levels were upregulated, possibly explaining the increment in immature myeloid cells detected in these mice. The short latency period indicates that Nras overexpression alone is sufficient to cause dose-dependent granulocytosis and T-cell expansion.
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